Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Fairly average crime fiction
on 23 August 2012
This is one of those books that I just can't make my mind up over. I think I thought it was only OK. It kept me turning the pages and I was keen to find out how it ended, but I didn't feel particularly struck with shock by the ending (although I never guessed whodunnit either) and there were no real 'twists' to speak of. I wasn't expecting this to be as gruesome as it is. While I am by no means squeamish, some of the descriptions of the killer and his habits had me throwing half of my lunchtime sandwich in the bin in disgust. Rizzoli and Moore are both decent lead characters and I think Rizzoli in particular will benefit from more development in the subsequent books.
Gerritsen has understandably drawn on her medical experience to write The Surgeon and there are a number of scenes detailing the intense environment of Cordell's workplace and the stresses she is subjected to as part of her job. To be honest, I felt that some of these passages could be a little much for readers without any medical training as they contain lots of technical jargon and acronyms. I found some of the events slightly unrealistic (to the point that Cordell was bordering on unprofessional in some of her actions) but enjoyed other points, such as the scene where Cordell discusses a 'do not resuscitate' order with a patient's relatives. This isn't an issue that I have seen tackled in fiction before and I feel it's something important that could be highlighted more.
So I wasn't completely convinced by this book but I already have the second installment in the series on my shelf and I am sure that once the characters are a bit more established I will enjoy them a bit more.